Santa Cruz
by Thomas Park

We spent a quick evening in the City Lights Bookstore
Rested up, boarders
In a house just off the Haight

Then it was south towards Santa Cruz
Short stop at the lighthouse

The beach was peaceful
A gentle side excursion
Between rides on the boardwalk
After we gave coins to the fortuneteller

Your cousin served us wine
Made conversation
Her fair-haired husband returning later
(Time had little meaning)
From the waterfront,
Surfboard in tow

We spoke of moving to California
Leaving our emotional anchor
(Saint Louis)

But the millions of dollars
The earthquakes
The drought

The damp, chill sands of Santa Cruz
Remain in memory
Cool waves persist in time
Still caressing some tourist’s sandaled foot

PHOTO: “A Scene from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk,” photo and treatment by Thomas Park, 2016.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I  wrote this poem, riffing on a recent trip with my wife to her favorite place in the world, California. It was my first time since infancy, and the trip made quite an impression. I attempted to capture some of the vibe of the region in this short poem.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Park is a musician, painter, video artist, writer, and poet living in South Saint Louis with his wife and two cats. He is a big fan of poet Philip Levine. He would like to take his wife and cats to San Francisco someday to live, if (or perhaps when) he wins the lottery. Find him at

Author photo by Thomas Park.